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Walt Disney Pictures is an American film production studio that is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, which is owned by
The Walt Disney Company The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Disney (), is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios complex in Burbank, California California is a U.S. st ...
. The studio is the flagship producer of live-action feature films within the Walt Disney Studios unit, and is based at the Walt Disney Studios in
Burbank, California Burbank is a city in the southeastern end of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County, California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately ...
. Animated films produced by
Walt Disney Animation Studios Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS), sometimes shortened to Disney Animation, is an American animation studio that creates animated features and short films for The Walt Disney Company. The company's production logo has a scene from the very f ...
and
Pixar Animation Studios Pixar Animation Studios () is an American computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as ...
are also released under the studio banner.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (formerly known as Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.) is an American film distribution studio within the The Walt Disney Company#Media and Entertainment Distribution, Disney Media and Entertainment Distri ...
distributes and markets the films produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Disney began producing live-action films in the 1950s, under the company's all-encompassing name, Walt Disney Productions. The live-action division took on its current incorporated name of Walt Disney Pictures in 1983, when Disney reorganized its entire studio division; which included the separation from the feature animation division and the subsequent creation of Touchstone Pictures; a sister division responsible for producing mature films not suitable for release through Walt Disney Pictures. At the end of that decade, combined with Touchstone's output, Walt Disney Pictures elevated Walt Disney Studios as one of
Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood in the Central Los Angeles, central region of Los Angeles, California. Its name has come to be a metonymy, shorthand reference for the Cinema of the United States, U.S. film industry and the people associated with i ...
's major film studios. Walt Disney Pictures is currently one of five live-action film studios within the Walt Disney Studios, the others being 20th Century Studios,
Marvel Studios Marvel Studios, LLC (originally known as Marvel Films from 1993 to 1996) is an American film and television studio that is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company The Walt Disney Company, commonly know ...
, Lucasfilm, and Searchlight Pictures. The The Lion King (2019 film), 2019 remake of ''The Lion King'' is the studio's highest-grossing film worldwide with $1.6 billion, and ''Pirates of the Caribbean (film series), Pirates of the Caribbean'' is the studio's most successful film series, with five films earning a total of over $4.5 billion in worldwide box office gross.


History


Predecessor unit

The studio's predecessor (and the modern-day The Walt Disney Company's as a whole) was founded as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, by filmmaker Walt Disney and his business partner and brother, Roy O. Disney, Roy, in 1923. The creation of Mickey Mouse and subsequent short films and merchandise generated revenue for the studio which was renamed as The Walt Disney Studio at the Hyperion Studio in 1926. In 1929, it was renamed again to The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Productions. The studio's streak of success continued in the 1930s, culminating with the 1937 release of the first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 film), ''Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'', which becomes a huge financial success. With the profits from ''Snow White'', Walt relocated to Walt Disney Studios (Burbank), a third studio in
Burbank, California Burbank is a city in the southeastern end of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County, California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately ...
. In the 1940s, Disney began experimenting with full-length live-action films, with the introduction of hybrid live action-animated films such as ''The Reluctant Dragon (1941 film), The Reluctant Dragon'' (1941) and ''Song of the South'' (1946). That same decade, the studio began producing nature documentaries with the release of Seal Island (film), ''Seal Island'' (1948), the first of the ''True-Life Adventures'' series and a subsequent Academy Award winner for Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film, Best Live-Action Short Film. Walt Disney Productions had its first fully live-action film in 1950 with the release of Treasure Island (1950 film), ''Treasure Island'''','' considered by Disney to be the official conception for what would eventually evolve into the modern-day Walt Disney Pictures. By 1953, the company ended their agreements with such third-party distributors as RKO Pictures, RKO Radio Pictures and United Artists and formed their own distribution company, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Buena Vista Distribution.


1980s–2000s

The live-action division of Walt Disney Productions was incorporated as Walt Disney Pictures on April 1, 1983 to diversify film subjects and expand audiences for their film releases. In April 1983, Richard Berger was hired by Disney CEO Ron W. Miller as film president. Touchstone Pictures, Touchstone Films was started by Miller in February 1984 as a label for the studio's PG-13 and R-rated films with an expected half of Disney's yearly 6-to-8-movie slate, which would be released under the label. That same year, newly named Disney CEO Michael Eisner pushed out Berger, replacing him with Eisner's own film chief from Paramount Pictures, Jeffrey Katzenberg. Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures were formed within that unit on February 15, 1984 and February 1, 1989 respectively. The ABC Studios#Touchstone Television, Touchstone Films banner was used by then new Disney CEO Michael Eisner in the 1984–1985 television season with the short lived western, ''Wildside (U.S. TV series), Wildside''. In the next season, Touchstone produced a hit in ''The Golden Girls''. David Hoberman was promoted to president of production at Walt Disney Pictures in April 1988. In April 1994, Hoberman was promoted to president of motion picture production at Walt Disney Studios and David Vogel was appointed as Walt Disney Pictures president. The following year, however Hoberman resigned from the company, and instead began a production deal with Disney and his newly formed production company, Mandeville Films. In addition to Walt Disney Pictures, Vogel added the head position of Hollywood Pictures in 1997, while Donald De Line remained as head of Touchstone. Vogel was then promoted in 1998 to the head of Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group, the newly formed division that oversaw all live-action production within the Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone, and Hollywood labels. The move was orchestrated by Walt Disney Studios chairman Joe Roth, as an effort to scale back and consolidate the studio's film production. As a result of the restructuring, De Line resigned. That same year, Nina Jacobson became executive vice-president of live-action production for Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group. Jacobson remained under this title until May 1999, when Vogel resigned from the company, and Jacobson was appointed by Roth to the role of president of production. During her tenure, Jacobson oversaw the production of films at Walt Disney Pictures, including ''Pirates of the Caribbean (film series), Pirates of the Caribbean, The Chronicles of Narnia (film series), The Chronicles of Narnia, Bridge to Terabithia (2007 film), Bridge to Terabithia, National Treasure (film), National Treasure,'' ''Remember the Titans'', and The Princess Diaries (film), ''The Princess Diaries'''','' and was responsible for establishing a first-look deal with Jerry Bruckheimer, Jerry Bruckheimer Films. In 2006, Jacobson was fired by studio chairman Dick Cook, and replaced with by Oren Aviv, the head of marketing. After two films based on Disney theme park attractions, Walt Disney Pictures selected it as a source of a line of films starting with ''The Country Bears'' (2002) and ''The Haunted Mansion (film), The Haunted Mansion'' and ''Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl'' (both 2003). The latter film—the first film produced by the studio to receive a Motion Picture Association film rating system, PG-13 rating—began Pirates of the Caribbean (film series), a film series that was followed by four sequels, with the franchise taking in more than $5.4 billion worldwide from 2003 to 2017. On January 12, 2010, Aviv stepped down as the studio's president of live-action production.


2010s–present

In January 2010, Sean Bailey was appointed the studio's president of live-action production, replacing Aviv. Bailey had produced ''Tron: Legacy'' for the studio, which was released later that same year. Under Bailey's leadership and with support from then Disney CEO Bob Iger—and later studio chairman Alan F. Horn, Alan Horn—Walt Disney Pictures pursued a Tent-pole (entertainment), tentpole film strategy, which included an expanded slate of original and adaptive large-budget tentpole films. Beginning in 2011, the studio simplified the branding in its production logo and Billing (performing arts), marquee credits to just "Disney". Concurrently, Disney was struggling with PG-13 tentpole films outside of the ''Pirates of the Caribbean (film series), Pirates of the Caribbean'' series, with films such as John Carter (film), ''John Carter'' (2012) and ''The Lone Ranger (2013 film), The Lone Ranger'' (2013) becoming major box office bombs. However, the studio had found particular success with live-action fantasy adaptations of properties associated with their List of Walt Disney Animation Studios films, animated films, which began with the commercial success of ''Alice in Wonderland (2010 film), Alice in Wonderland'' (2010), that became the second billion-dollar-grossing film in the studio's history. With the continued success of ''Maleficent (film), Maleficent'' (2014) and ''Cinderella (2015 Disney film), Cinderella'' (2015), the studio saw the potential in these fantasy adaptations and officiated List of Disney live-action remakes of animated films, a trend of similar films, which followed with ''The Jungle Book (2016 film), The Jungle Book'' (2016) and ''Beauty and the Beast (2017 film), Beauty and the Beast'' (2017). By July 2016, Disney had announced development of nearly eighteen of these films consisting of sequels to existing adaptations, origin stories and prequels. Although Walt Disney Pictures produced several successful smaller-budgeted genre films throughout the 2010s, such as ''The Muppets (film), The Muppets'' (2011), ''Saving Mr. Banks'' (2013), and ''Into the Woods (film), Into the Woods'' (2014), the studio shifted its production model entirely on tentpole films as they had found that a majority of the smaller genre films were becoming financially unsustainable in the theatrical market. In 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced it was creating its own Streaming service provider, streaming service platform. The new service, known as Disney+, would feature original programming created by the company's vast array of film and television production studios, including Walt Disney Pictures. As part of this new distribution platform, Bailey and Horn confirmed that Walt Disney Pictures would renew development on smaller-budgeted genre films that the studio had previously stopped producing for the Movie theater, theatrical exhibition market a few years prior. In 2018, nine films were announced to be in production or development for the service. These films would be budgeted between $20 million and $60 million. The studio is expected to produce approximately 3-4 films per year exclusively for Disney+, alongside its theatrical tentpole slate. Disney+ was launched on November 12, 2019 in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands, with subsequent international expansions. Within the first two months of the service's launch, Walt Disney Pictures had released three films (''Lady and the Tramp (2019 film), Lady and the Tramp'', ''Noelle (2019 film), Noelle,'' and ''Togo (film), Togo'') exclusively for Disney+. On March 12, 2020, 20th Century Studios#Fox Family, Fox Family president Vanessa Morrison was named president of live-action development and production of streaming content for both Disney Live Action and 20th Century Studios, reporting directly to Bailey. That same day, Philip Steuer and Randi Hiller were also appointed as president of the studio's physical, post production and VFX, and Executive Vice-President, executive vice president for casting, respectively–overseeing these functions for both Walt Disney Pictures and 20th Century Studios.


Logo

Until 1985, instead of a traditional production logo, the opening credits of Disney films used to feature a title card that read "Walt Disney Presents", and later, "Walt Disney Productions Presents". In ''Never Cry Wolf (film), Never Cry Wolf'', and the pre-release versions of ''Splash (film), Splash'', it showed a light blue rectangle with the name "Walt Disney Pictures" and featured a white outline rectangle framing on a black screen. Beginning with the release of ''Return to Oz'' in 1985, Walt Disney Pictures introduced its fantasy castle logo. The version with its accompanying music premiered with ''The Black Cauldron (film), The Black Cauldron''. The logo was created by Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Feature Animation in traditional animation and featured a white silhouette of Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle against a blue background, with the studio's name and underscored by "When You Wish upon a Star, When You Wish Upon A Star", in arrangement composed by John Debney. A short rendition of the logo was used as a closing logo as well as the movie ''Return to Oz'', although the film was months before ''The Black Cauldron (film), The Black Cauldron'' was released. Beginning with ''Dinosaur (film), Dinosaur'' (2000), an alternative logo featuring an orange castle and logo against a black background, was occasionally presented with darker tone and live-action films. A computer-generated imagery, computer-animated Pixar RenderMan, RenderMan variant appeared before every Pixar Animation Studios film from ''Toy Story'' until ''Ratatouille (film), Ratatouille'', featuring an original fanfare composed by Randy Newman, based on the opening score cue from ''Toy Story''. In 2006, the logo was updated with the release of ''Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'' at the behest of then-Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook and studio marketing president Oren Aviv. Designed by Disney animation director Mike Gabriel and producer Baker Bloodworth, the modernized logo was created completely in computer animation by Weta Digital and featured a 3D Waltograph, New Waltograph typography. The final rendering of the logo was done by Cameron Smith and Cyrese Parrish. In addition, the revamped logo includes visual references to ''Pinocchio (1940 film), Pinocchio'', ''Mary Poppins (film), Mary Poppins'', ''Peter Pan (1953 film), Peter Pan'', ''Cinderella (1950 film), Cinderella'', and ''Dumbo'', and its redesigned castle incorporates elements from both Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella Castle, as well as fireworks and Walt Disney's Crest (heraldry), family crest. Mark Mancina wrote a new composition and arrangement of "When You Wish Upon a Star" to accompany the 2006 logo. It was co-arranged and orchestrated by David Metzger. In 2011, starting with ''The Muppets (film), The Muppets'', the sequence was modified to truncate the "Walt Disney Pictures" branding to "Disney". The new logo sequence has been consistently modified for high-profile releases including Maleficent, Tomorrowland, and Beauty and the Beast.


Film library

The studio's first live-action film was Treasure Island (1950 film), ''Treasure Island'' (1950). Animated films produced by
Walt Disney Animation Studios Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS), sometimes shortened to Disney Animation, is an American animation studio that creates animated features and short films for The Walt Disney Company. The company's production logo has a scene from the very f ...
and Pixar are also released by Walt Disney Pictures. The studio has released four films that have received an Academy Award for Best Picture nomination: ''Mary Poppins (film), Mary Poppins'' (1964), ''Beauty and the Beast (1991 film), Beauty and the Beast'' (1991), ''Up (2009 film), Up'' (2009), and ''Toy Story 3'' (2010).


Highest-grossing films

Walt Disney Pictures has produced five live-action films that have grossed over $1 billion at the worldwide box office: ''Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'' (2006), ''Alice in Wonderland (2010 film), Alice in Wonderland'' (2010), ''Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides'' (2011), ''Beauty and the Beast (2017 film), Beauty and the Beast'' (2017) and ''Aladdin (2019 film), Aladdin'' (2019); and has released eight animated films that have reached that milestone: ''Toy Story 3'' (2010), ''Frozen (2013 film), Frozen'' (2013), ''Zootopia'', ''Finding Dory'' (both 2016), ''Incredibles 2'' (2018), ''The Lion King (2019 film), The Lion King'', ''Toy Story 4'', and ''Frozen II'' (three in 2019). —Includes theatrical reissue(s).


See also

* Walt Disney Studios (division) *
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (formerly known as Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.) is an American film distribution studio within the The Walt Disney Company#Media and Entertainment Distribution, Disney Media and Entertainment Distri ...
* Walt Disney Television (production company)


References


External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Walt Disney Pictures Walt Disney Pictures, American companies established in 1983 Disney production studios Film production companies of the United States Entertainment companies based in California Companies based in Burbank, California Mass media companies established in 1983 1983 establishments in California The Walt Disney Studios de:The Walt Disney Company#Walt Disney Pictures